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Today in History: April 22, 6-year-old Elian Gonzalez seized in Miami, returned to Cuban father

Today is Monday, April 22, the 113th day of 2024. There are 253 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 22, 2000, in a dramatic pre-dawn raid, armed immigration agents seized 6-year-old Elian Gonzalez, the Cuban boy at the center of a custody dispute, from his relatives’ home in Miami; Elian was reunited with his father at Andrews Air Force Base near Washington.

On this date:

In 1889, the Oklahoma Land Rush began at noon as thousands of homesteaders staked claims.

In 1915, the first full-scale use of deadly chemicals in warfare took place as German forces unleashed chlorine gas against Allied troops at the start of the Second Battle of Ypres (EE’-preh) in Belgium during World War I; thousands of soldiers are believed to have died.

In 1937, thousands of college students in New York City staged a “peace strike” opposing American entry into another possible world conflict.

In 1944, during World War II, U.S. forces began invading Japanese-held New Guinea with amphibious landings at Hollandia and Aitape.

In 1954, the publicly televised sessions of the Senate Army-McCarthy hearings began.

In 1970, millions of Americans concerned about the environment observed the first “Earth Day.”

In 1993, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum was dedicated in Washington, D.C., to honor victims of Nazi extermination.

In 1994, Richard M. Nixon, the 37th president of the United States, died at a New York hospital four days after having a stroke; he was 81.

In 2004, Army Ranger Pat Tillman, who’d traded in a multi-million-dollar NFL contract to serve in Afghanistan, was killed by friendly fire; he was 27.

In 2005, Zacarias Moussaoui (zak-uh-REE’-uhs moo-SOW’-ee) pleaded guilty in a federal courtroom outside Washington, D.C., to conspiring with the Sept. 11 hijackers to kill Americans. (Moussaoui is serving a life prison sentence.)

In 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil platform, operated by BP, sank into the Gulf of Mexico two days after a massive explosion that killed 11 workers.

In 2012, the U.S. and Afghanistan reached a deal on a strategic partnership agreement ensuring that Americans would provide military and financial support to the Afghan people for at least a decade beyond 2014, the deadline for most foreign forces to withdraw.

In 2013, a seriously wounded Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR’ tsahr-NEYE’-ehv) was charged in his hospital room with bombing the Boston Marathon in a plot with his older brother, Tamerlan (TAM’-ehr-luhn), who died after a fierce gunbattle with police.

In 2016, leaders from 175 countries signed the Paris Agreement on climate change at the United Nations as the landmark deal took a key step toward entering into force years ahead of schedule.

In 2017, Erin Moran, the former child star who played Joanie Cunningham in the sitcoms “Happy Days” and “Joanie Loves Chachi,” died in New Salisbury, Indiana; she was 56.

In 2022, hockey Hall of Famer Guy Lafleur, who helped the Montreal Canadiens win five Stanley Cup titles in the 1970s, died at age 70.

In 2023, Ken Potts, one of the last two remaining survivors of the USS Arizona battleship, which sank during the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, died. He was 102.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Jack Nicholson is 87. Singer Mel Carter is 85. Author Janet Evanovich is 81. Country singer Cleve Francis is 79. Movie director John Waters is 78. Singer Peter Frampton is 74. Rock singer-musician Paul Carrack (Mike and the Mechanics; Squeeze) is 73. Actor Joseph Bottoms is 70. Actor Ryan Stiles is 65. Baseball manager Terry Francona is 65. Comedian and entertainment executive Byron Allen is 63. Actor Chris Makepeace is 60. Rock musician Fletcher Dragge (Pennywise) is 58. Actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan is 58. Actor Sheryl Lee is 57. Actor-talk show host Sherri Shepherd is 57. Country singer-musician Heath Wright (Ricochet) is 57. Country singer Kellie Coffey is 53. Actor Eric Mabius is 53. Actor Ingo Rademacher (RAH’-deh-mah-ker) is 53. Rock musician Shavo Odadjian (System of a Down) is 50. Rock singer-musician Daniel Johns (Silverchair) is 45. Actor Malcolm Barrett is 44. Actor Cassidy Freeman is 42. Actor Michelle Ryan is 40. Actor Zack Gottsagen is 39. Actor Amber Heard is 38. Singer-songwriter BC Jean (Alexander Jean) is 37. Drummer Tripp Howell (LANCO) is 35. Rapper/singer Machine Gun Kelly is 34.

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